More roadway construction and traffic changes should be anticipated for anyone traveling north or south on Route 31 in Pennington / Hopewell Township.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation will be hosting an informal information center regarding the proposed construction of Route 31 bridge replacement over CSX railroad, the culvert replacement over Seminary Creek, and pavement improvements between mileposts 6.84 to 7.33. The meeting will be held on Monday, August 1, 2016 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at the Pennington Borough Municipal Building 30 North Main Street, Pennington, NJ. Information on construction of the project will be provided at this presentation.
The following are details provided by NJDOT with regard to the scope of the project:
NJDOT proposes to demolish the existing bridge on Route 31 over CSX (railway lines): The existing bridge will be demolished and replaced with a single span 103’-2” steel girder superstructure on concrete abutments and spread footings. The existing alignment and a 23′ vertical under-clearance will be maintained, and the proposed cross section across the bridge will consist of one 12′-0″ through lane, one 10′-0″ right shoulder, and a 5′-0″ sidewalk in both directions. The proposed parapets will reflect most of the original historical characteristics.
NJDOT proposes to make paving improvements: The existing pavement box and raised median will be removed from MP 6.84 to 7.33 and replaced with a 30″ deep pavement box. Two water quality structures will be provided for the two watersheds north and south of the bridge to meet NJDEP requirements. The storm drainage systems were designed to convey peak flow during a 25-year storm event and to control the spread of storm water across the pavement during a 10-year storm event.
NJDOT proposes to install a new culvert over Seminary Creek: The new culvert will be an in-kind-replacement with a 3-sided precast concrete culvert providing the same overall length and the same hydraulic opening as the existing culvert. The roadway will provide one 12’ wide travel lane and one 10’ wide shoulder in each direction. An existing collapsed concrete headwall will be replaced in-kind and an existing 15” storm drain outfall will be replaced by an 18” outfall with new headwall and riprap scour hole.
A primary two (2) stage construction sequence is proposed. All existing lanes of traffic (one in each direction) are to be maintained during construction. Construction is expected to be completed over two (2) construction seasons. Utility relocations involving overhead aerial utilities and poles will need to be performed at the onset of construction.
Construction access to structure areas will be from NJDOT ROW. Access to local businesses, place of worship, and private residences will be maintained during construction.
As part of the proposed plans planting will be included in accordance with the New Jersey No Net Loss Reforestation Act, enacted by the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly and approved on January 29, 2001.
NJDOT has a requirement to mitigate for the loss of trees under the NJDEP Green Acres Program. To accommodate construction, trees were removed on the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) property located within the Route 31 CSX Bridge Replacement Project limits. During consultation with the FoHVOS and NJDEP Green Acres the FoHVOS identified the Hollystone Preserve, which is also located within Hopewell Township, as their preferred site for mitigation planting. The Hollystone Preserve is a 108 acre Green Acres protected property, co-owned by NJDEP and Mercer County Parks that is managed by the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space.
Estimated Start of Construction: Summer 2016
Estimated Completion: Fall 2018
Estimated Construction Cost: $12.9 Million
NJDOT has indicated that the one lane of traffic, in each direction on Route 31, will be maintained during construction, although lane shifts will be necessary. This past weekend, NJDOT’s contractor began installing signs and establishing a traffic shift in preparation for the start of utility work, which is often the case before the start of roadway construction.
The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website www.511nj.org for real-time travel information and for NJDOT news follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_info.